Last year an online petition on Change.org, started by a Mississippi teenager, forced PepsiCo last year to publicly state it would drop the ingredient (patented as a flame retardant) from Gatorade and Mountain Dew (that’s still to happen). However, the leader of the category, Coco Cola, and one of the biggest brands in the world is still defending its use as “meeting regulations” while simultaneously stating that it will drop it by the end of this year. Odd to say “meeting regulations” when Europe and Japan dropped the use of BVO ages ago for health concerns and closer to home it was dropped by the FDA as safe over 40 years ago! Basically Coca Cola like many big brands these days moaning about their integrity sound like parrots in an Corporate Annual Report.
When do brands become real brands if they’re supposedly about trust and stories told well? Maybe it’s less about trust and stories and more about convincing consumers and then lying to their face (looking at the package). So many of the global brands on the leader board are perceived as untrustworthy – their veneer has cracked under the strain of public scrutiny these past few years. Only just recently did J&J start to remove Formedldyhide from its entire baby products portfolio of over 100 products! Can you imagine what would happen to brands like Mountain Dew and Powerade if they had a health warning on them?
Now we know why the lies are easy for them – they assume the customer is ignorant. So here’s to the court of public opinion, the jeremiads of public advocates and the hot debate on ethics, integrity, hubris, (brands) self respect and corporate temptation. Here’s an article in the British Newspaper, The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cocacola-to-remove-controversial-additive-bvo-from-sports-drinks-9325262.html